The Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate island which hosts Vanuatu’s capital city of Port Vila has recently approved kastom (custom) penalties for killings on Efate.
Chairman of the council, Chief Simeon Poilapa said they have deposited the new kastom law to the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs.
Poilapa said this was done in line with Malvatumauri decision that all island council of chiefs have to have their customary laws dealing with killings in their respective jurisdictions by the end of July 2021.
Chief Poilapa said the kastom law was one the main agendas passed during the 14th Vaturisu council of chiefs conference held at Emua two weeks ago.
The Vaturisu Chiefs said as a deterrent to stop future killings on Efate soil, the kastom penalties were set at a high penalty.
Chief Poilapa said there were two types of kastom penalties based on intentional and unintentional killings.
“The kastom penalty would involve conviction and jail set by the court, however the custom penalty to pay as part of the kastom settlement has been set at 2 male bulls, 50 mats, island food, VT1.5 million (US$13-thousand) compensation to the family of the victim or if possible offer of land compensation.
Furthermore, on the release by the correctional department the offender would still serve a travel ban on Efate and his offshore islands,” Chief Poilapa said.
“The kastom penalty to be paid has been set at 3 pigs, 10 mats, island food and VT100,000 (US$876) compensation to the victim’s family.
“A second part of this same kastomary law states that for the killings that have happened on Efate and its offshore islands, another kastom fine will be paid to the chiefs where the offence had taken place for the blood spilled on their soil,” he said.
The kastomary penalty to be paid has been set at 1 pig, 10 mats, island food and VT20,000 (US$175) to be paid to the responsible chief and his council,” Chief Poilapa said.